If you’re starting or running a business, you’ll need to know this list of essential business planning words.
Two months ago, I used this column to suggest that we need to find a better term for business planning that doesn’t conjure up fear and dread like the mention of a high-school paper or graduate thesis. Business planning is supposed to be about managing and steering a company. In the 15 readers posted below that column, I saw several valiant efforts to suggest new phrases (road map and business blueprint, for example). But I ended up agreeing with several people who disagreed with my basic thesis. They essentially said business planning is too important to mess with changing the words.
So I’ve changed my mind — again — and come up with this list of essential business planning words every manager should know:
1. Business plan: An organized collection of milestones, tasks, assumptions and basic business numbers. It covers strategy and details what’s supposed to happen when, who’s in charge of what, how progress is measured, when money is to be spent and from where, and when money is expected to come in. It isn’t a document; it’s a plan. If it isn’t reviewed and revised monthly, then it won’t be very useful. So it has to be practical and just big enough to serve the business need.